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Rebuilt: My Journey Back to the Hearing World

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  160 ratings  ·  29 reviews

Michael Chorost became a cyborg on October 1, 2001, the day his new ear was booted up. Born hard of hearing in 1964, he went completely deaf in his thirties. Rather than live in silence, he chose to have a computer surgically embedded in his skull to artificially restore his hearing.
This is the story of Chorost s journey -- from deafness to hearing, from human to cyborg -

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Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 19th 2006 by Mariner Books (first published June 2nd 2005)
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Cheryl
Short. A little superficial. The technical & medical parts were a bit over my head (or beyond my patience?) at times. The 'more human' parts were mostly focused on dating, less on friendship, hardly at all on his r'ships with his parents or colleagues. However, there was a lot that was very interesting and I was sufficiently immersed to finish in one night.

One thing a reader will learn from this is how the debate about Deaf (signing) Culture is changing, now that cochlear implants are becomi
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Susan
Derrick and I both read this shortly after we found out Lola was deaf, and we had decided on a cochlear implant. This is a fascinating book to hear from an adult what it's like to have an implant since Lola will never be able to tell us about it versus life without it. Very interesting.
Ingrid
This book changed my life. After reading it, I took up American Sign Language and started volunteering at the Scranton School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children. The students and staff there have inspired me profoundly.
Jon Hurd
A very enjoyable read, and the best description of how the ear works that I have ever read.
Emily
The story written here, of a man experiencing complete, sudden deafness for the first time, is a great mix of science, human behavior and social interaction. Having met the author, it only reinforces his extraordinary tale of taking loss and wielding it to accomplish a gain. I was wary at first as to how he would handle the argument of cochlear implants amongst the deaf community. He took on the subject with grace and sensitivity, while also accomodating for changing views as the technology and ...more
cochlearimplantHELP
I read this book in four hours. Each page a delight and wonder as Michael Chorost takes us into his ‘realm of change’. A young insecure hearing impaired man who loses his remaining hearing within hours. Blossoming over time into accepting his deafness, he also accepts what cochlear implant technology can give him. Using amazing intelligence and insight, Michael Chorost gives us a birds-eye view of the brain/CI connection wrapped up in such a way you can’t wait to see what’s on the next page!

As a
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Kate
I thought this was an excellent book, especially as I'm looking forward to being evaluated next week for a hybrid implant. Maybe it's because I'm an ex-computer programmer and a techie, but I really enjoyed this book. The New York TImes, in a review of his current book, said "he's shared too much intimacy, too many confessions," but I disagree. That, to me, made the book all the better. It made Michael Chorost more human to me to read his thoughts about cyborgs and his forays into the dating wor ...more
Emily
Interesting. This is an memoir written by a guy who was congenitally hard of hearing, who abruptly lost the rest of his hearing as an adult, and subsequently got a cochlear implant. He chronicles his experience with surgery and learning to hear again, and some of the frustrations and joys he experiences with his new implant. He really brings home the fact that a cochlear implant is not a magic cure for deafness - at best, it is a tool that helps him hear some of the time in some situations. I wi ...more
Drew
I've read a slew of books from an anti-cochlear implant stance, I was curious what this guy had to say about his CI experience. The book had some things to say about the politics of CI, but was more about the technology behind CIs and his documentation of what it sounds like as his brain grew accustomed to it.

Nerd Alert warning: The author discusses the work of Frank Herbert in this book. Other Nerd Alert artifacts noticed: Philip Glass, Lord of the Rings, programming languages, David Hume, and
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Audrey
While this is far from the best written or even most compelling book I've ever read, I rank it highly because it's both interesting and unique.

Technology has allowed us to actually take outside sound and change it into input that can directly stimulate the auditory nerves. This is one person's experience with dealing with having this strange computer be a part of them and their experience of the world.

One of the most powerful images he conjures up is when he plugs the implant into a walkman... a
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Jill
Chorost's insights into the world of the hard of hearing through his research into cochlear implants and his own experience are thorough, and for the most part, engaging. While in parts his narrative is fascinating and easy to read, at other times he becomes deeply enmeshed in his own philosophical ramblings. These sections are wordy and dense, and while most of the time they are worth the read, other times I was left thinking, "what is he talking about?" Still, worth the read, and more matter o ...more
Colin
There's a lot to like here-- humorous, clear and humble writing and a host of interesting thoughts to boot. Chorost takes his deafness and later receipt of a cochlear implant and turns them into more than just a story of the miracle of modern science; he delves deeply into the philosophical implications of the condition of the cyber-organism and ultimately presents a vision of how humans and machines will come to be intimately and often physically bound to one another in the near future.
Jennette Forager/sl
I picked this book up because I am always trying to stay in touch with my husband's deteriorating hearing and assumed that it was a tech-based assessment of a potential alternative. Instead I found a poet for all that face dramatic life changes. Michael smart about the geek stuff and also connected to his evolving emotions which made for a wonderful read and many thoughtful discussions with friends.

I look forward to reading his subsequent works.

Grace
This was one of the required texts for my disability studies course, and I actually really enjoyed it! Before this book I really had no idea what cochlear implants were or really anything about how we perceive sound. I loved the way he described his experience and I feel I gained some perspective about what hearing impaired people go through. Overall an awesome memoir. I'm glad I was forced to read it!
Maria Holt
This book is one of the best memoirs I've ever read. Someone close to me has a hearing loss that has been remedied by an ossicular implant. This is an implant of the middle ear, quite different from Michael Chorost's implant in the inner ear. This is his journey and it's funny, touching and very well written. I highly recommend it.
Sherri
This book was just okay. Parts of it I found really interesting -- when Chorost focused on the cochlear impact and the ups and downs of hearing with it. I did not like when he would go off into relaying details of his dating excursions - they just didn't seem to fit.
Joe Quirk
The best combination of touching memoir and meditation/analysis of what it means to be human in a world where experience is mediated by technology. This affable narrator will give you new insights on the nature of intimacy.
Kaylee Beauprez
I thought this book had great insight about what it is like to get a cochlear implant. the first three chapters were great, but he put too much emphasis on how a CI made him more like a cyborg... too it overboard
Leafsong
Aug 30, 2012 Leafsong rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lexi
Shelves: favorites
Perfect combo of science and memoir for me.
Just picked it off of a library-used sale shelf while on vacation for a dollar because I ran out of books, so it was hit or miss, but it definitely turned out hit.
Eclarep
Presents Cohorst's journey through deafness and back into the hearing world after getting a cochlear implant. Interesting but I'm still not racing to get a cochlear implant.
Spencer Sloe
Engaging and quick read from a cochlear implant recipient who analyzes his sense of self. Provides some interesting anecdotes on hearing, technology and what it means to be human.
Ann
I definitely recommend this memoir from a man who had a cochlear implant. It is very well written. He makes you think about hearing from so many perspectives.
Kelly
It's fantastic view on cochlear implants that helped me to change my mind and see some of the benefits that CI brings as well as other negatives.
Emily Pagan
I was assigned this book for a psych class. It's one of the few books I actually enjoyed reading for a class. I'd recommend it to any one.
Michelle
intriguing perspective and insights about the philosophical as well as practical implications of cochlear implant
Jessica Grittner
The author gets a cochlear implant. Fascinating to read about the process and what he actually "hears."
Ed
Originally titled Rebuilt: My Journey Back to the Hearing World.
Kristi Bumpus


Fascinating. A science memoir that's equally philosophy.
PEN Center USA
2006 PEN Center USA Award for Creative Non-fiction
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Michael Chorost (pronounced like chorus with a T at the end) is a technology theorist with an unusual perspective: his body is the future. In 2001 he went completely deaf and had a computer implanted in his head to let him hear again. This transformative experience inspired his first book, "Rebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human." He wrote about how mastering his new ear, a cochlea ...more
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